(Travel + Leisure) Talk about pigs: Americans ate 1.1 billion bacon servings during the 12-month period ending April 2014, about 6 percent more than the previous year, according to market research firm the NPD Group.
We’re not just eating more bacon, we’re also making better bacon (consider the proliferation of artisanal bacons and chefs curing their own bacon in house) and finding creative ways to enjoy it. There’s bacon butter, bacon soda, bacon-infused booze, and bacon ice cream, to name a few inspired iterations.
New York’s BarBacon is entirely devoted to porky provisions, especially the country’s best bacons, which can be paired with flights of craft beer or bourbon. You can get your bacon to go, as at Bacon Bacon, a popular food truck that roams the San Francisco Bay Area delivering bacon-fried chicken, bacon burgers, and bacon, belly, and butt tacos.
There are dedicated bacon brunches and bacon happy hours, and even a bacon challenge. At Paddy Long’s in Chicago, many have tried (and most have failed) to consume the famous five-pound bacon-wrapped bomb in 45 minutes or less.
Eating bacon doesn’t have to be a sport though. Bacon goes haute at Nashville’s Bound’ry, where it is dehydrated, pulverized, and used as a faux breadcrumb for a fried tomato salad. And it joins forces with another, if improbable, food trend—toast—when paired with puréed peas, mint, and olive oil at Vernick Food & Drink in Philadelphia.
It's no secret that America loves its bacon. For proof, just look at the crazy success of the Perfect Bacon Bowl, As Seen on TV's newest sensation.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl resembles an upside-down plastic bowl. Wrap three strips of bacon around it, pop it in the oven, microwave or toaster oven and the bacon cooks in the shape of the container - a "bacon bowl." Then you fill it with whatever you want - scrambled eggs, dip, mac 'n cheese.
The Perfect Bacon Bowl debuted in November 2013 on As Seen on TV and almost immediately became a hit. Since then, more than two million boxes have been sold (they come two to a box and retail for $10.99).
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
It may technically be a Saturday, but it sure feels like Fry-day to us - August 31 is National Bacon Day.
While the bacon craze may have reached peak sizzle in the last decade, with dedicated festivals, bacon-based couture, and appearances in non-breakfast courses from sundaes to cocktails, America's fixation with delicious strips of cured pork is nothing new.
Previously in meat-based fashion
And by the way? Anderson Cooper, eat your vegetables!
If Burger King's new 510 calorie, bacon-studded sundae is any indication, people aren't going to stop putting pork in desserts anytime soon. I can't say I necessarily endorse that, though I've certainly contributed to the glut, myself, with a recipe for Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans in Food & Wine magazine last year.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
Beer lovers, rejoice. Whiskey drinkers, celebrate. Pork fat fans, this is your moment. All the things you thought were unhealthy can actually help you lose a ton of weight.
Well, not exactly. This isn’t an ad in the back pages of a sketchy magazine. All these things are still not good for you when you eat and drink them in large quantities. And don’t stop eating your blueberries and strawberries if you want to boost your brainpower.
Still, there’s some surprising good health news for anyone who wants to wash down their lard-topped popcorn with a beer and a shot of whiskey.
From WHO in Des Moines, Iowa
Previously - Maid-Rite loose meat sandwiches – an Iowa tradition
There's only so much turkey a man can take.
iReporter, Grilling.com writer and Smoke in Da Eye competition BBQ chronicler and team member Clint Cantwell found himself having to gobble down waaayyyy too much of the bird. After roasting, deep-frying and smoking three different turkeys for Thanksgiving last year, he needed a bit of a palate cleanser. Naturally, he swung swine-ward.
Cantwell crafted a pig entirely out of pork as a Thanksgiving appetizer. "Pork E. Pigskin," as he was dubbed, had hot links for legs, a sausage body, ham ears, Vienna sausage nose, a pork rind tail and a bacon wrap.
Some people say bacon has jumped the shark. We say mmmmm...shark bacon! Howard Winer is a Supervising Producer at CNN.
Thank goodness my parents never kept Kosher. Had they, I might not have discovered the joys of boiled Maine lobstuh, steamed Maryland crabs or the number one no-no - bacon. High five to you now, Mom and Dad, because these days– bacon isn’t just a side at breakfast. You can drink your bacon, have it on a burger in a whole new way or, even better, for dessert.
If you’re ready for a Bac-spedition, start with it shaken, not stirred, in a Bakontini. All it takes is some Bakon Vodka. Or, make any day a Sunday and go for a Bakon Mary, heavy on the Tabasco, please. If you’re in the mood for sweet, think about a creation from the Dionysus Restaurant & Lounge in Baltimore: the Waffle Shot. It’s one part Bakon Vodka, one part Pinnacle Whipped Vodka. [Editor's note: We in no way endorse this behavior. Because eeewwwww!]